Thinking about growing your business beyond your borders? Whether you are a small B2B looking to sell your office software to doctors in other countries or an independent video game developer who wants to grow your business internationally, your success in expanding business in new markets will depend on the type of product or service you are selling and the country you want to sell to.
For small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that don’t have access to the same budget or resources that other large independent software vendors (ISVs) do, where do you start? What resources are there to better understand the culture and build business relationships in a chosen market?
There are many resources small businesses can leverage to understand how their industry operates in a different country, identify the key influencers, and establish relationships with local suppliers and distributors in international markets. Some of these include:
1. Your Country’s Embassy: Your country’s embassy can provide businesses and ISVs with policies, government relationships, and other technical standards and regulations for doing business in a specific country.
2. Trade Associations: Trade offices, trade publications, international business associations like the Institute for Independent Business and International Trade Administration websites provide SMBs with information for expanding and supporting business growth in other countries.
3. Industry Trade Shows/Conferences: There’s no better way to meet, network and start business relationships with potential partners working in foreign markets than attending, exhibiting and speaking at industry trade shows. Researching conference websites can be a good starting point. The Intel Developer Forum (IDF) has a large international attendance. Industry-specific conferences such as Mobile World Congress are also a great place to meet folks in your industry from other countries.
4. Online Communities: Any successful company doing business today has an Internet presence. Researching industry keywords can help you find relevant websites, blogs, communities and forums such as the International Business Leaders Forum on how to grow your business in new markets.
5. Resellers and Distributors: For businesses that don’t have established relationships in a chosen market, leveraging resellers and distributors, or organizations that know the country can help build local connections and provide information on business protocols, import/export laws, etc. To connect with channel resellers in the Intel® Technology Provider Program, search for a channel reseller.
6. International Partners: Collaborating with a company with industry presence, worldwide business partnerships and the technical expertise of selling to foreign markets can play a pivotal role in strategizing, implementing and executing your geo-expansion program. The Intel® Software Partner Program provides numerous opportunities to connect with ISVs online through Partner Finder. (If you are not a member, you can join the program here.)
In today’s highly competitive international market, expanding business beyond your borders is a challenge for startups, small software companies and ISVs. Leveraging such geo-expansion resources is a good starting point for establishing local relationships and understanding the business and technical requirements that are needed to sell your products and services to geographically diverse countries.
Six Resources for Getting Started with Geo-Expansion